Author Topic: Archibald Ramsay - Radio Officer  (Read 1432 times)

Offline leighton

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Archibald Ramsay - Radio Officer
« on: Monday 30 October 17 16:19 GMT (UK) »
Archibald Ramsay Radio Officer

There is a short enigmatic memorial inscription in a Carluke Cemetery for a distant cousin of mine. It reads:

Their son Archibald
Drowned through enemy action 1940.

It was added to the stone for his elder brother, Thomas Ramsay, who died in WW1.

There is no mention of Archibald in the cwgc website, nor any other site I can find.

Recently I found the following newspaper article from 1940 on the British Newspaper Archive website:
The Carluke & Lanark Gazette dated 9 August 1940 reported:
BOAT SUNK BY ENEMY ACTION. Mr Archibald Ramsay, who was a wireless officer on a boat which has been torpedoed, is missing. He is a son of the late Mr and Mrs Thos. Ramsay, Cadzow Villa, Carluke, and was married to a Lanark lady. His ship sailed on 16th July and was sunk by enemy action on 18th July. He is well known in Carluke and is a great favourite with all who knew him. Official information that the boat had been sunk was received on Friday last, and it is known that nine members of the crew have landed in America but so far there is no definite news of Mr Ramsay.

I have a list of UK ships torpedoed about this date:
16th July 1940 - Scottish Minstrel; 41 crew, 32 survivors, 9 lost.
17th July 1940 - Manipur: 79 crew, 65 survivors, 14 lost.
17th July 1940 - Fellside: 33 crew, 21 survivors, 12 lost.
18th July 1940 - Woodbury: 35 crew, no casualties.
19th July 1940 - Pearlmoor: 39 crew, 26 survivors, 13 lost.

The casualties for these ships are in the cwgc website and also the Tower Hill memorial.

There was another newspaper report after the war:
The Carluke & Lanark Gazette dated 8 June 1951 reported:
Additions To Church Memorial At Kirkton Church
On Sunday morning, opportunity was taken to make mention of the recent additions upon the Church Memorial to those fallen in the two world wars. It was remembered that Sunday was the eleventh anniversary of Dunkirk, and there were prayers offered for the welfare of our nation and for the peace of the world. The congregation stood in reverent silence while the minister read the following words: " According to the wish of the Kirk Session and by the will of all the people of this congregation, we have this day added to the Church Memorial to the Fallen the following names: Harold A. Paterson, Archibald Ramsay, James M. Skeoch. "We remember that these men went in jeopardy of their lives and returned no more to the peaceful scenes of home. Within the bounds of this congregation we place on public record their service, their devotion, and their sacrifice. We, too, dedicate ourselves anew to the cause of our own well-loved land, of all humanity and of the Kingdom of God. 

Why is there no official record of Archibald Ramsay? Perhaps he was a passenger on a ship and not on the actual crew list, or he may have a crew member on a foreign ship. Any suggestions as to why he has seemingly been forgotten?

leighton


Offline seaweed

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Re: Archibald Ramsay - Radio Officer
« Reply #1 on: Monday 30 October 17 21:04 GMT (UK) »
It is not uncommon to find Merchant seamen who are not commemorated by the CWGC.
Even if he served on an allied ship IE Norwegian, Dutch etc. He should still have a commemoration. However the criteria  adopted by the CWGC for MN casualties means that new evidence is still coming to light.
By strange co incidence Wireless operator Edward Ramsay died on the 18/July/1940  on the Norwegian vessel GYDA the nine survivors being taken to New York arriving on the 26th.
Edward Ramsay is recorded by the CWGC but as being a member of the Canadian Merchant Navy. Parents  Mr. and Mrs. Peter Ramsay, of Chatham Head, New Brunswick.
Just wondering if there was some kind of mix up/short circuit in the information given by the Carluke & Lanark Gazette.
A quick search of the other vessels you gave suggests that none of their survivors were landed in NYC.
I will get in touch with poster H/Mac a mine of information on Scottish seamen lost in WW2.
Watch this space.
Dim ateb yn well nag ateb anghywir. Nid oes dim yn ddall fel rhai nad ydynt yn dymuno gweld

RIP Roger 10 August 2022

Offline HMac

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Re: Archibald Ramsay - Radio Officer
« Reply #2 on: Monday 30 October 17 22:39 GMT (UK) »
I have had a quick look through my sources and have found some of his MN records from the Fourth Register of Seamen. He was born in Carluke in 1906 his Dis. A number was R65689 and he appears to have first gone to sea in 1929. Unfortunately his MN cards only go up to 1936 - we do know that not all those cards survive.
I can find no trace of him in the Deaths at Sea Register nor the Scottish Marine Returns. The newspaper article states his ship was sunk and that 9 members of the crew have landed in America but no news of Mr Ramsay. He may have turned up later hence no report of a death at sea.

Interesting - will have another look tomorrow with a bit more time.

Regards
Hugh 
 
Merchant Navy Research
ss CITY OF CAIRO

Offline HMac

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Re: Archibald Ramsay - Radio Officer
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 31 October 17 12:17 GMT (UK) »
Well, so far, I can find no evidence of his death. The last MN record I have for him is 1936 aboard the CLAN GRAHAM. If indeed he died in 1940, there will be no further MN records that we can check as the next series of MN records starts January 1941. If he died at sea, it is strange there is no mention in either the Marine Returns or the Deaths at Sea Register which should record all reported deaths. If he is a non commemorated merchant seaman then we really do need to find the evidence and get the CWGC involved. As seaweed and I both know getting that evidence is crucial to moving this one on.

Archibald Ramsay b. 15 October 1906.
Married Elizabeth Milligan Duguid on 14th July 1938.
Elizabeth M. Ramsay married again in 1945 and died in 1953.

Regards
Hugh
Merchant Navy Research
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Offline Rosinish

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Re: Archibald Ramsay - Radio Officer
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 31 October 17 13:28 GMT (UK) »
I think if a body wasn't found even although it was known he was in the water i.e. drowned there wouldn't be a death on SP?

I think it's only where they find the actual body there would be an official DC?

Or..could his death have been registered elsewhere?

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Offline HMac

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Re: Archibald Ramsay - Radio Officer
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 31 October 17 15:57 GMT (UK) »
When a ship was lost through enemy action the log book and crew agreements would not have survived. The owners of the vessel were obliged to send a copy of the crew list to the RGSS. Lists C & D (Casualties & Death) would be used for the registration of deaths of the crew and indeed any passengers. That said, we do know there can be mistakes and omissions in any written work and that includes the Deaths at Sea Register.

Regards
Hugh
Merchant Navy Research
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Offline seaweed

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Re: Archibald Ramsay - Radio Officer
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 31 October 17 18:42 GMT (UK) »
Been looking for Archibald Ramsay all day and like Hugh came to a negative conclusion.
That said, I think the CWGC may have made a mistake with their entry for Edward Ramsay.

Looking at some old paper work copied from TNA documents (see attached) According to the Death Returns of British seamen who were lost whilst serving on Norwegian vessels, the person who died on the 18/July/1940 on board GYDA is listed as A Ramsay plus other indications he may have been RNR?
Although not proof in itself, it opens the door for further research. What is really needed is a crew agreement for GYDA.
I know Billy McGee, the Archivist of the Merchant Navy Association, has done some work on British seamen lost in WW2 whilst on board allied vessels. I will see if he can shed any light.
Dim ateb yn well nag ateb anghywir. Nid oes dim yn ddall fel rhai nad ydynt yn dymuno gweld

RIP Roger 10 August 2022

Offline HMac

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Re: Archibald Ramsay - Radio Officer
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 31 October 17 22:33 GMT (UK) »
Certainly worth a follow-up SW although it would be a big error by the CWGC if it was true. Edward Ramsay was 21, b.1919 to Canadian parents. He is commemorated on the Halifax Memorial as well as the Canadian Book of Remembrance. Archibald Ramsay would have been 34 in 1940  b.1906 in Carluke, Lanarkshire.

Not seen a link to the RNR yet and if Billy gets involved it may help move it forward.

Regards
Hugh
Merchant Navy Research
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Offline leighton

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Re: Archibald Ramsay - Radio Officer
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 01 November 17 11:54 GMT (UK) »
Thank you for your interest in this post.

I found a couple of Passenger lists for Archibald, but they probably do not help.
He arrived in Boston on the 26 October 1930 from Glasgow on board The Cameronia.
He arrived in Tacoma, Washington on the 2 November 1932 from the UK on board the City of Quebec.

Regarding the loss of the Norwegian ship Gyda, I also came across the name A. Ramsay on the list of crew members. I found it on this website:
https://www.warsailors.com/freefleet/survivors7.html
List of casualties prior to 6.5.42 serving on Norwegian ships on time-charter (Death cases only)
(This is similar to the document posted by seaweed).

I thought I had solved the problem. However, further research soon came up with the name Edward Ramsay and I assumed that A. Ramsay had been wrongly transcribed on that document.

It does seem rather macabre that two Radio Officers named Ramsay both died at sea on the same day in similar circumstances. Archibald Ramsay must have been recorded as being on some ship, such that notice of his death was passed onto his family in Carluke hence the notice in the local newspaper. Also, after the war his name was added to the Roll of Honour in his local church. This memorial contains 23 names for WW1 (including Archibald's brother William) and 3 names for WW2. Perhaps this is the only evidence that can be found at this late date regarding what happened to him.

I wonder if there is a local newspaper from New Brunswick, Canada giving details of the death of Edward Ramsay?

leighton